BranVan accessible transport hours extended

A pilot program was put into effect on Jan. 1 that extends the accessible BranVan hours in response to student requests. The service will now run 8 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. The service will last for the duration of the semester, and its “use factor will determine continuation of the new hours consistent with other services,” according to Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan. 

In a Feb. 4 email to the Justice, Accessibility Specialist for Graduate Students Scott Lapinski explained that the previous system in place required those in need to first speak to Student Accessibility Services, who would verify their eligibility to use the accessible BranVans. Once that process is finished, the office would put them in contact with Public Safety, who would coordinate transport. 

Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity

 Sonia Jurado will join the University as director of the Office of Equal Opportunity on March 18, according to Chief Diversity Officer Mark Brimhall-Vargas in an email to the Brandeis community yesterday. Durado will also serve as the University’s Title IX and ADA/504 Coordinator. 

As director, Jurado and her office will investigate concerns, allegations of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct brought forward by members of the Brandeis community, per the email. She will also be tasked with reviewing University procedures regarding these issues, as well as organizing training sessions for faculty, students and staff on the same topics.

Jurado will also ensure that the University is complying with “Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, ADA, Rehabilitation Act Section 504 and other state and federal laws relating to bias, discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking,” according to the email.

With a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago, Jurado has previously served in similar positions at Wellesley College, Mount Ida College and Tufts University.

University President calls for Richman Fellowship and Gittler Prize nominations

In an email sent on Jan. 23, University President Ron Liebowitz asked the Brandeis community to nominate candidates for the Richman Distinguished Fellowship in Public Life and the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize. 

Nominees for the Richman Fellowship should have “improved American society, strengthened democratic institutions, advanced social justice, or increased opportunities for all Americans to share in the benefits of the United States,” per the email. Gittler Prize nominees should have “made outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic, and/or religious relations.” 

Both awards come with $25,000 and require the recipient to “spend two to three days on the Brandeis campus,” the email explained. 

Richman Fellowship nominations must be submitted by March 1, while people have until April 1 to nominate individuals for the Gittler Prize. Individuals cannot nominate themselves. 

Outage at South Street crossing

On Wednesday, Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan reported that a vehicle had “struck the crossing-light pole adjacent to the entrance of the Linsey Pool” on Jan. 18, causing the crossing-light devices in that area to stop working. 

“There were major damages done to the light mechanism when struck,” Callahan wrote in a Feb. 3 email to the Justice. The activation button requires several depressing motions to activate and while some of the activation lights function, the strobe lights do not, he added.

Waltham Police will help guard the crosswalk during peak traffic periods (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) until the City of Waltham’s Wires Department has repaired the lights. Callahan encouraged students to be cautious and to use the Squire Bridge when crossing South Street.